We go through great lengths to source our beans to provide our guests with the most memorable coffee experience.
In our quest to discover the best coffee beans and the most ethical farming practices, we’ve been lucky enough to build strong partnerships with the most talented farmers and their communities.
We want our partnerships with our coffee producers to go beyond the farm and the bean.
Having the most ethical farming practices means learning what our partners need to help their communities most, and helping them achieve that.
Ricardo Zelaya is a third generation coffee grower from Antigua Guatemala, and one of the producers of Bean Around the World coffee. When we asked Ricardo what he believed his community needed the most, his answer was a school for their children.
80 years ago, Ricardo’s grandfather started their farm, Finca El Carrizal. It’s here we source our Santa Clara coffee bean - a farm on a mountainous region, with an elevation of 910 metres.
The Bean Around the World team first visited Finca Carrizal in 2008 to consult with Ricardo and the farmers and understand the situation.
We learned that for many decades, the nearest educational facility to the Finca Carrizal community was one classroom a 6 hour drive away - an impossible distance for the children living on the farm. Because of this great distance, none of the children could take part in pursuing education.
During this first visit in 2008, we decided to fund 100% of the project and build a school for the farm’s community. We acted quickly to begin our plans. Over the course of 8 months, we also created 20 construction jobs for local workers!
We raised money to fund the school through our coffee sales, and completed construction in 2010 - only 2 years after our first visit.
Today, 80 students attend classes from kindergarten to 7th grade in a comprehensive educational facility. The building has 3 classrooms, 4 washrooms, and a kitchen where volunteers provide a healthy lunch every day! There are 2 full time teachers employed whose salaries are happily supported by Bean Around the World.
Students study a variety of subjects from reading, writing, math, social studies, and computer skills. There is internet access at the school, and the computer classes in particular are massively supportive for the students in helping them learn about the outside world. Prior to this opportunity, future job prospects for the children in this area were limited to working on the farm with their parents.
Their studies and new computer skills gives the local children more opportunities for their future, expanding their job options as they grow into adults. Our friend and partner Ricardo Zelaya has created a scholarship program for the students. Scholarship recipients have gone on to receive University Degrees.
12 years later, it’s still incredible to us that the school provides education for students year after year.
We look forward to creating more ways to support our partners around the world.